Today, May 29, 1630, Charles Stuart was born at Saint James Palace in London, United Kingdom. His father was Charles I and his mother Henrietta Maria of France. As their eldest surviving child, he was Prince of Wales and due to become King. He was a very large baby and due to his mother’s Medici blood very dark, causing him to be called the Black Boy as a child. He was also a taller man than most of that time. He was an intelligent and serious boy that his mother joked she sometimes felt he was far older and wiser than she. Below is Charles’ Coat of Arms as Prince of Wales.
As Prince of Wales, he was destined for the throne, but forces were already in play that would delay that destiny for some time.
The court masques were the most splendid of the occasions on which Prince Charles observed his mother and father. These entertainments were made up of a lavish combination of drama, opera and ballet, ingenuity used on their effects. So, the young Heir Apparent must have soaked in these grander times for later his own court was called the Merry Court, or that could possibly also be attributed to the Puritan Oliver Cromwell.
Oliver Cromwell was the man who murdered his father and took control of the new government. On January 30, 1649, at 2 PM at the Palace of Whitehall, his father, Charles I, was beheaded, and Charles went into exile, roaming Europe with his Royalist supporters. He was to learn early the way exile was to be. When to Cambrai, then a Spanish territory, they found the gates to the city closed to them and had to wait ‘long into the afternoon’ before being allowed admittance. In exile, Charles suffered many hardships, but finally on September 10, 1658, Sir Stephen Fox approached him with fantastic news. A week earlier, Oliver Cromwell had died.
Charles was invited to return to England and was restored to the throne in May of 1660. without an ounce of bloodshed. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on April 23, 1661. He was to sire many illegitimate children but never an heir to the throne.
Charles suffered a sudden apoplectic fit on the morning of 2 February 1685, and died aged 54 at 11:45 am four days later. He was King during the Great Plague and the Great Fire. He was, by all accounts, a good, fair king with a quick-witted tact. He was called the Merry Monarch.
This is severely limited account of a man who falls in there with Elizabeth I and Henry VIII in the public’s memory. I’d like to have gone on, but if you are interested, you might pick up the book by Stephen Coote, “Royal Survivor”.
Thanks for dropping by today. Have a fab Friday! and a super weekend!